Youth Big Game License Bill

Good news recently arrived from the Chambers of Albany as Senator Dale Volker announced the "Youth Mentor Hunting Program" bill was unanimously passed in the New York State Senate. Senator Volker's legislation has been forwarded to the State Assembly for their consideration and action. The legislation will create a youth mentor hunting program intended to facilitate safe hunting practices and advance hunting as a modern sport by allowing individuals age 14 and 15 to participate in the Big Game Hunting Season. Currently, New York state has the most restrictive youth hunting laws in the nation. That can change if Assembly Bill 733A, the companion measure to S1284, now in the Assembly is passed.Sportsmen and women should contact their State Assembly Member representative at (518) 455-4100 to urge them to support Assembly Bill 733A. If youth must wait until age 16 to join the hunt, its usually too late. By then, there are too many other attractions, both positive and negative, vying for their attention. At age 14, a boy is quickly progressing on the road to manhood. If he has opportunities to share quality time his father or other adult mentors, a number of potholes on the road to becoming an adult can be avoided. I believe theres a lot of truth in the old adage, If your kids hunt with you, youll never have to hunt for them. I recently asked DEC Commissioner Grannis about his efforts to insure that this this important piece of legislation is passed. Grannis replied, This is a commitment that I gave when I was being confirmed. I have every intention to use whatever contacts at my disposal to get this bill enacted.....Were using sportsmans clubs all across the state as our allies in this effort. Youth turkey hunt Another annual youth hunting opportunity arrives this weekend with the annual Wild Turkey Youth Hunt, scheduled for April 26-27. Designed for hunters age 12 through 15 years of age, the hunt was developed for those holding a junior hunting license and a turkey permit and is only for spring turkey hunting. As required by law, youth 12 or 13 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or a relative over 21 years of age, with written permission from their parent or legal guardian. Youth 14 or 15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or an adult over 18 years of age, with written permission from their parent or legal guardian. The accompanying adult must have a current hunting license and turkey permit and may assist the youth hunter (including calling). However, the mentor may not carry a firearm or longbow, or kill or attempt to kill a wild turkey during the youth hunt. The youth hunt is a only a two day weekend hunt that precedes the start of the regular season by at least 3 days and is available wherever the spring turkey season is open. The bag limit for the youth hunt is one bearded bird. This bird becomes part of the youth's regular season bag limit of two bearded birds. A second bird may be taken after to regular season begins on May 1. When a youngster goes afield, they can discover the wealth of positive recreational outlets available in their own backyard. They hold the future of our outdoor sporting heritage, only if we make the effort to introduce them. The Fishing Report Winters icy cap has finally been removed from most Adirondack waters, except in the higher elevations. And though the trout season officially opened on April 1, ice out actually signals the true start of the season across the park. As ice departs a pond, waters remain dangerously cold and anglers must take a slow approach for success. In such conditions, a life preserver is essential equipment, only if it is worn. In attempting to locate fish directly after ice out, seek windward shorelines where the prevailing winds push the warm surface water, which will prompt the first insect hatches of the season. Also seek southern exposure shorelines which are littered with structure or lined with brush. These warmer water areas will have the most active bait fish chasing the most insect activity. As a result, larger fish will be concentrated in these locations seeking food. Lakes with smelt populations such as Lake Clear, Upper Saranac , Upper St. Regis Tupper Lake and Lake Champlain will also have lake trout and salmon foraging for smelt spawning in the lake inlets and small streams. Anglers can expect to find smelt currently running the streams, while suckers will likely begin moving in for the spawn run in about a week. With current water temperatures in the low 40s on the ponds to high 40's on the streams; fishing will remain slow until temperatures creep into the upper 40's and low 50's. On the fly, nymphs, stoneflies and streamers are the order of the day; fished slow and deep with sinking or sink tip lines. The Adirondack standard of a Lake Clear wabbler trailing a worm is always a safe bet. Early on, anglers using natural bait will find the most success, although artificial lures and flies will surely produce as well. Slow and deep is key. Successful offerings will include salamander and leech imitations; as well as flashy streamers or lures such as Phoebes, Panther Martins and Castmasters. Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net

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